Purpose: To examine choroidal thickness in age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Methods: The hospital-based case series study included patients with nonexudative or exudative AMD as study group, and the control group consisted of subjects with a normal fundus. Choroidal thickness was measured by enhanced depth imaging of spectral domain optical coherence tomography.
Results: The study group (126 patients; 204 eyes) included a nonexudative subgroup (n = 50 eyes) and an exudative subgroup (n = 154 eyes), differentiated into eyes with mostly retinal pigment epithelium detachment (n = 35), mostly retinal edema (n = 36), and a subretinal fibrotic scar (n = 83). For 29 patients with unilateral AMD, contralateral normal eyes were compared with affected eyes. The control group consisted of 189 patients (228 eyes). Comparing choroidal thickness between the affected eyes and contralateral unaffected eyes in patients with unilateral AMD revealed no statistically significant differences (all P > 0.20). After adjusting for age and refractive error, subfoveal choroidal thickness was not significantly (all P > 0.10) related with AMD neither as a whole nor with the nonexudative or exudative AMD subgroup nor with the single exudative AMD subtypes (except for the subretinal fibrotic scar subgroup; P = 0.03). Correspondingly, choroidal thickness at a horizontal distance of 1000 μm from the fovea was not significantly (all P ≥ 0.30) associated with any subgroup of AMD. In binary regression analysis, the presence of AMD or of its subtypes (except for subretinal fibrotic scar type) was not significantly (all P ≥ 0.20) associated with subfoveal or parafoveal choroidal thickness after adjustment for age and refractive error. After matching for age, refractive error, and axial length, study group and control group did not differ significantly (all P ≥ 0.25) in foveal or parafoveal choroidal thickness measurements.
Conclusion: After adjusting for age and refractive error, AMD, neither in its nonexudative form nor exudative form, was significantly associated with a marked thinning or thickening of the choroid in the foveal and parafoveal region.